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3 Hilariously Dangerous DIY Projects from Old Magazines

The nice thing about the 1950s was that everyone had a can-do attitude. Unfortunately, that kind of plucky optimism lends itself to dangerous situations, like whatever was going on with Korea and these ridiculously lethal do-it-yourself projects. We're lucky the Baby Boomers survived infancy to give birth to the rest of us, because their parents seemed hell-bent on killing them.

#3. Build Your Own Water Murder Devices

If you were on a budget and in desperate need of reckless endangerment, 1960s suburbia offered easy-to-assemble hazards that any doofus could construct "in a few hours." For example, this guide teaches you how to combine toddlers, mesh netting, and water into a single Sudden Infant Death apparatus, for convenience.

Maybe you're thinking the family pictured is in a shallow lake or pond. You're wrong. The whole point of the water coffin was so that Mom and Dad could have fun without having to worry about keeping their babies' stupid faces above water. Deep water was the name of the game, and children were the albatrosses holding you down.


Or if a riptide carries them away, whatever.

The best part of the cage was that it could fall apart with a simple pull of a pin or a hard wave. Guess what Mom and Dad were doing while Junior earned his life insurance deductible? Having FUN on their homemade water-ski ramp, that's what!

#2. DIY Motorized Snowmobiles

If you've ever looked at a tractor or an airplane and said, "I could make that infinitely more life-threatening," these motorized snowmobile kits are for you. Take a regular camper trailer and add a relentless oversized propeller and ice, and you can take that sonofabitch anywhere:


Yet another example of why, when somebody asks if they can show you their "merrymaker," the answer is always "no."

Of course, if you're a real patriot, you'll know that the question you should truly be asking yourself is "Why bother building a cabin when I can just ride this shit like a lawnmower?"


You'll liquefy the odd person while backing up, but that's a small price to pay.

#1. Build Your Own Interior Gun Range

Maybe we aren't giving ourselves enough credit for just how far gun safety has come. Apparently, firing air rifles inside your house without eye or ear protection was once a completely reasonable way to spend a Saturday afternoon. You have to admit, everyone in the picture is having a good time. Especially the young sportsman who can't quite get his arm pointing in the correct direction or aim his hugely disproportionate head anywhere near what could be considered eye contact with his fellow human beings. Never mind whatever in hell's blazing ebony staircase is going on with his mouth:

Someday, if he's lucky, this young sportsman will outgrow air rifles altogether and just start shooting real guns inside his house. Why not? Who's going to stop him if he's got a 40-foot-long basement, some plywood, galvanized metal, and a door that can be "locked from the inside for safety"? Of course, if you're shooting live bullets inside your own home, you probably don't need to be too worried about anyone invading your private time.


That badminton table doesn't get a whole lot of play.

S.P. Taylor is nobody in particular right now, but if that ever changes, you'll be the first to be disappointed when you finally meet him.

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